Euro notes

What is the currency in Spain?

The currency in Spain is the euro, the same as in other European Union countries.

The euro is divided into 100 cents.

• There are eight different coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros.

• There are seven different bank notes, for the following amounts: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.

On the following page you will find information about types of exchanges that may be useful for planning your trip:   


How much money will you need for expenses during your stay?

The average prices for products and services can vary according to the province and the season. As a general guideline, below is a list of approximate prices for some services and products:

  • A single metro (underground) or bus ticket costs around €1.50-2.
  • A beer may cost between €2 and €6 in a fashionable venue.
  • A cinema ticket costs between €5 and €9.
  • A theatre ticket costs between €12 and €30.
  • A ticket to the opera or a concert could cost between €50 and €100.
  • A full breakfast –coffee, croissant or pastry, and juice– may vary between €2 and €4 depending on the establishment.
  • A daily set menu in a mid-range to inexpensive restaurant will cost around €10. For à-la-carte dining, prices tend to start at around €18, and in the case of mid-range establishments may be up to €36 per person. In restaurants with a 3-fork category you can expect to pay up to €90 or more.
  • Accommodation by category (approximate prices per double room):
    • 5-star: between €200 and €300
    • 4-star: between €100 and €200
    • 3-star: between €60 and €100
    • 2 stars or less: less than €60.


How else can I pay?

With credit cards:

Payment using recognised international credit cards is also commonly available in Spanish shops. They usually have signs indicating this option at the entrance to the establishment. When you make a payment you should show your passport or ID card.

With traveller's cheques:

Traveller's cheques, accompanied by a passport, are also accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops.


Where can you change foreign currency?

You can change currencies in bureaux de change and some banks. This service is also available in many hotels and travel agencies.


Is tipping mandatory?

No; in every single establishment in Spain, service is included with the price of the meal or drink. However, tipping is a common practice at bars and restaurants, hotels, and taxis, depending on the total price for the service, and on the generosity of the client. It is usually around five to ten percent of the total price.


Can you request reimbursement of Value Added Tax (VAT)?

If the purchaser's residence is outside the European Union, they may claim back the tax on their purchases. To do so, they should ask for the Tax Free cheque in the shop or business.

There are various companies in Spain authorised to process the reimbursement of I.V.A. (Value Added Tax) for tourists. This is a very simple procedure. You need only follow the steps below to obtain your refund:

1. Request the tax-free invoice and show accreditation of your place of residence (passport).

2. Show your purchases and have the tax-free invoices stamped at customs. (Receipts must be stamped within 3 months of purchase.)

3. Claim the amount due from the company processing the claim. They all have I.V.A. reimbursement points at the main Spanish airports and borders, for payment in cash. You can also have the I.V.A. repaid to your credit card, by bank transfer or international cheque.

Below are some of the companies that process this transaction: Global Refund Spain S.A Premier Tax Free Innova Taxfree Spain Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona Tax Free World Wide Spain Open Refund Comercia Global Payments Entidad de Pago S.L. Financiera El Corte Inglés B Free! Tax Back Travel Tax Free, S.L.U. Also, at Terminal 1 of Adolfo Suárez Madrid - Barajas airport, there is a digital validation point for VAT reimbursements (DIVA). This will enable you to complete the paperwork and receive your VAT refund on the spot.


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